2013 Cup of Nations Preview: Burkina Faso
Change in Administration
Proceeding their catastrophic showing, manager Paolo Duarte was sacked. The Burkinabe FA perused the market for a defensive specialist. In West Africa they found Belgian enforcer Paul Put. Put had a stellar record with the Scorpions of Gambia, profiting from their youth development to assemble a sharp squad who tested the best Africa had to offer.
Hitherto, it’s proven an inspired appointment. Put’s men have conceded an anemic 3 goals in his 8 matches in charge. The Belgian employs a conservative 4-3-3 which forces Kabore a little further back than he would like. The inspired form of Lyon defender Bakary Kone has been the cornerstone of their defensive renaissance. A no-nonsense approach from defense may inhibit puritan construction of attacks, but it ensures they no longer leak goals.
With a resolute defense, powerful midfield and skilled attackers, Burkina Faso will be the sensationalist’s stereotypical African side. And all the ingredients point to them fulfilling their potential this time around.
Coach: Paul Put
Can he be the coach to finally strike a right balance for Burkina Faso? It certainly seems so, but if there’s one thing this national team’s previous performances showed, it’s that you can never really know.
Key Player: Moumouni Dagano
Dagano is one of handful of players who will be key for Burkina Faso. We could have selected Bakary Kone in defense, Charles Kabore in midfield, or even Jonathan Pitroipa on the flanks. The truth is that Paul Put will all of his players firing on all cylinders if they’re to trounce defending champions Zambia, or youthful Nigeria.
One to watch: Alain Traore
What makes Traore an appealing choice is that he’s capable of the absolutely spectacular. Strikes like this from different timezones have a habit of going in for the Lorient man. If he finds form, he has the potential to be one of the players of the tournament.
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